Unbeknownst to many, Roxie is a mom to twelve children! She is one of the most kind, sincere, and selfless people you will meet. She echoes the heart of Jesus so beautifully and has an incredible story to tell. Roxie, together with her husband, are the house parents at the Transition Home of iThemba Lethu. They sacrificially give of themselves every day to these beautiful children. You can meet them and their kiddie crew at the Station AM gathering. What an incredible gift they are to the community! Read on to find out more…
Ethan and Roxie: The house parents at iThemba Lethu.
How long have you been involved in iThemba Lethu?
I have worked at iThemba Lethu since the beginning of February 2016, but we used to help with the children during the Sunday gathering before then.
What is your role?
My husband Ethan and I are the House Parents in one of the Transition Homes (House 22) at iThemba Lethu.
Ethan with one of the kids at iThemba Lethu.
How many kids do you look after and what are their ages?
Normally, I would only look after six children, but at the moment, I look after all twelve children, as iTL is in the process of appointing another housemother or house parents for the Transition Home next door (House 26).
The oldest child is six years old, then we have two four-year-olds, a three-year-old, and a two-year-old. Our babies consist of twin fifteen-month-olds, a ten-month-old, an eight-month-old, a seven-month-old, and two four-month-olds.
A few of the beautiful children that Roxie and her husband, Ethan look after.
What does a day in the life of a House Mother look like?
Many people ask me what exactly I do. Well, I basically do as any other stay-at-home mom does. I start my mornings by dropping the older five children at school. After that, I try to go to gym, which is sometimes harder than it sounds! Otherwise, I do the monthly/weekly shopping. At lunchtime I collect four of the children from school after their extramurals and bring them home. I then collect the oldest child from the bus stop at 3pm. Some days I take the children to the doctor, clinic or hospital for their check ups. Other days I have to go to court with one of the children. Every day is different to the one before.
Did you always have a desire to do what you do? How did God put this on your heart?
I feel I have always wanted to be involved in helping children. Before I started at iThemba Lethu, I was a preschool teacher, so I have always been involved with young children. When I was young, I felt God gave me a heart for the nations.
What keeps you going when you feel tired/drained?
Some days seem longer than others, but to see the smiles on the children’s faces or hear them say, “I love you,” when I put them to bed at night, really makes my heart swell with love; it gives me the strength for another day. Also, as busy as my days are, I try often to make time in my morning to spend time in the word of God.
How do you cope emotionally when one of your kiddies gets adopted or reunited with family?
It is very hard when children are placed with their forever families or are able to go back to their biological family. The best way to describe it is as a bittersweet feeling. We are so happy and excited they have their very own family to love them, but we are sad to see them go. We miss the children who are gone, but we know God has a great plan for them.
Some of the amazing kiddies.
What is your BIG dream?
To be honest, I feel like I have already achieved my dreams by helping the children in the homes, as it is something I have always wanted to do. Right now, I am not too sure what my next dream is, but I know it may still involve children.
How can we (the public) help or get involved?
There are so many ways people can get involved. You can:
- Register to be a regular volunteer- helping with the children on weekends or at ‘happy hour’ (4 – 7pm)
- Donate groceries/equipment from our “Needs List”
- Support the community by partnering with our Youth and Parent Team in their work in Cato Manor, Mayville and Chesterville
- Give financially – funding is always needed and most welcome!
What is the biggest need right now?
Right now we are needing people who can donate their time to helping us with the children on the weekends and weeknights during dinner and bath time. If people don’t have the time to help, they could donate a ready-made meal that can be easily heated in the oven. Meals are always a big help as they free up a lot of time for us.
Any other comments on iThemba Lethu?
I am always thankful for the day we were approached and asked to consider being houseparents. iThemba Lethu is a great organization that helps a lot of children and adults. Not only do they have two homes for vulnerable children, they also have many outreaches into the communities.
Our Breastmilk Bank helps not only the babies in our iThemba Lethu homes, but also prem babies from the area who may need breastmilk to grow strong.
I pray every day that iThemba Lethu would continue to grow from strength to strength.
A few of the beautiful children Roxie and her husband, Ethan look after.
iThemba Lethu- “I have a destiny.”